FROM VILLIERS STEYN & JOSHUA MCPHAIL
Yesterday afternoon, we left camp and decided to follow up on the buffalo we had seen in the morning. Our ranger Pieter and tracker David simultaneously spotted some female leopard tracks heading down the road. On closer inspection, Pieter believed the tracks to be those of Inkanyeni because of a distinctive track that she makes.
Not 200 meters down the road, our other vehicle found Inkanyeni in front of a neighbouring lodge. She spotted a duiker and began stalking it. The duiker turned and walked straight towards her as she lay in the long grass. When the duiker spotted Inkanyeni, it actually jumped right over her. A near miss, and our hearts sat high in our throats after that. She then made her way through some beautifully back-lit long grass and this provided a wonderful photographic opportunity for our guests. She attempted to catch a francolin but failed. Having now spent decent time with her, we let her slink off into the thickets and moved on.
We headed towards where we left the lions in the morning. Along the way we stopped to photograph some rhino which everyone thoroughly enjoyed. We reached the lions who were fast asleep. We decided to leave them and stopped for drinks before we would then check back in on the lions. We enjoyed a mesmorising sunset. We went back to the lions and found them active. They headed to a small waterhole where we managed to photograph the lions as they drank. Our vehicles were expertly positioned for some amazing photographic opportunities. We then used our spotlights to create back-lit and side-lit photo opportunities as the lions moved down the road and lay down occasionally. We headed back to camp and had a brief visual of Shadow and her cub but left them as we did not want to pressurise the animals with a spotlight. We planned to follow up with Shadow first thing in the morning.
This morning we headed out and very quickly found female leopard Shadow and her cub. She was walking along a boundary road and we managed to get some great shots of the two leopards interacting. It was wonderful to see a new leopard. We then headed off and stopped to photograph some giraffe on our way to the hyena den. Some of our guests have never photographed giraffe before.
We arrived at the hyena den and found two females who were soon joined by 3 others. This allowed for some great photo opportunities of these playful and interesting animals. We then had a quick coffee break. After coffee, we managed to find and spend some time with female leopard Tiyani at Big Dam, she is a stunning leopard, and we decided to leave her be and head back towards Nkorho. Suddenly, a call came on the radio that two cheetahs were right in front of the lodge and we immediately headed in that direction.
When we arrived, we only managed to get a quick glimpse of the cheetah as they crossed our boundary but, unbelievably, we bumped into Inkanyeni who had a fresh Steenbok kill. The cheetah and Inkanyeni had a standoff at her kill. The Steenbok was still on the ground and we are sure Inkanyeni will hoist it up a tree soon. Our stomachs were grumbling and we decided to head back to the lodge for breakfast and may head out thereafter to check in on Inkanyeni and her kill.